- "Having already revolutionised the teaching of Defence Against the Dark Arts, Dolores Umbridge will, as High Inquisitor, have powers to address the seriously falling standards at Hogwarts School"
- —Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, in the Daily Prophet announcing Umbridge's appointed to the position[src]
The Hogwarts High Inquisitor was a position at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was a teacher appointed by the Ministry of Magic to make sure that unsatisfactory teachers were removed from Hogwarts and to ensure that any Educational Decrees set by the Ministry were followed. The High Inquisitor's position was formed under Educational Decree Number Twenty-Three.
Creation of the post
Certain people, such as parents of students, were supportive of this post, as they feared that Dumbledore's eccentric decision may have a negative impact on the students and were glad that the Ministry is keeping an eye on the situation; however, Lucius Malfoy, who gave an interview of his support of the post's creation under pretense of caring for the school's future, is in truth desiring for this action to discredit Dumbledore. Other people, such as Griselda Marchbanks and Tiberius Ogden, were outraged by this post's formation, as they support Dumbledore and knew full well that the High Inquisitor is nothing more than an excuse for Fudge to usurp control over Hogwarts from the headmaster; as a result, they themselves were discredited by Fudge and the Daily Prophet.
As High Inquisitor, Umbridge lurked in the corners of many classes taking notes on her clipboard and asking teachers and students questions. She was disliked by most of the teachers at Hogwarts, especially Minerva McGonagall, who was especially curt and rude to her at times. Severus Snape also answered her prying questions rather haughtily during his inspection. Despite McGonagall and Snape's apathetic and cold treatment of her, Umbridge could not deny that they were good teachers and knew their subjects, and thus they were not sacked. Sybill Trelawney, on the other hand, was not as lucky, and after a series of poor performances in Umbridge's inspections she was put on probation and then fired from the post of Divination teacher. Rubeus Hagrid's inspections went no better, as after he barely excused himself for his long-term absence, Umbridge's prejudice for half-breeds led her to be biased against Hagrid's first inspection, acting as though she could not understand his language while asking extremely offensive questions to students, and then placed him under probation as well; this led Hagrid's subsequent performances to falter, as he was distracted by her continued presence, and eventually he was ousted from his position as Care of Magical Creatures teacher.
Appointment to Headmistress
After Dumbledore's Army, a secret Defence Against the Dark Arts group started by Harry Potter and his friends, was discovered and Albus Dumbledore forced to leave the school by taking credit for the group's activities, Umbridge was appointed to the position of Headmistress and had even further control over the events at Hogwarts. However, the castle's inhabitants were not very helpful to her during her regime; she spent her first afternoon as Headmistress running around the castle trying to stop the mayhem caused by Fred and George Weasley's fireworks, with little assistance from the rest of the Hogwarts staff, such as the teachers preferring to see her struggle with trying to remove a Portable Swamp left by the Weasley twins when any of them could have removed it in a heartbeat and Minerva McGongall even going so far as to give Peeves help with unscrewing a chandelier
End of the High Inquisitor's reign
After catching Harry trying to contact 12 Grimmauld Place by the Floo Network, Umbridge would have used the Cruciatus Curse on Harry had it not been for Hermione Granger coming up with a plan to lure Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest by making her think that there was a weapon built by Dumbledore's Army in there. They were soon surrounded by centaurs, but with the help of Grawp, Harry and Hermione escaped them, under the circumstances that they were still "children". Umbridge, however, was not so lucky and was carried away by the Centaurs after calling them "filthy half-breeds" and "animals". She was later rescued by Albus Dumbledore but was left severely traumatised by the event.
After the skirmish in the forest and the Ministry being forced to accept that Voldemort had returned, Educational Decree Number 23 was abolished, along with the position of High Inquisitor. Umbridge was subsequently removed from Hogwarts and the position was never used again.
The Inquisitorial Squad
The Inquisitorial Squad was like the High Inquisitor's prefects. They were given the power to take away and add house points, even from other prefects. These individuals were a hand-picked group of students that were chosen by the High Inquisitor because of their support of the Ministry. They wore small silver badges with an "I" on it to show membership. All known members belonged to the house of Slytherin and were known enemies of Harry Potter and his friends.
- Millicent Bulstrode
- Vincent Crabbe
- Gregory Goyle
- Draco Malfoy
- Graham Montague
- Pansy Parkinson
- Cassius Warrington
- A sixth year girl